Finding out the size of directories in Linux

Do you want to know the size of a directory in Linux? Use the du command.

du -sh


The du command estimates the space used by a directory.

The options -sh are (from man du):

  -s, --summarize
         display only a total for each argument

  -h, --human-readable
         print sizes in human readable format (e.g., 1K 234M 2G)

To check more than one directory and get the total size of those directories, use

du -sch *

What does the extra option mean?

  -c, --total
         produce a grand total

Include hidden files?

du -sch * .*

Want to know how much disk space has been used?

du -h .

Bash shell shortcuts

I have been irritated not having standard keyboard shortcuts, like Ctrl-arrow left (move word left) and Ctrl-arrow right (move word right), available on the bash command line. It turns out they are. If you know what the meta key is. Meta key? Yes, I didn’t know which key this was either.

It turns out that it is the Alt key. This is because historically, many Unix workstations had a key labeled Meta where PCs have a key labeled Alt.

So here is a little bash command line cheat sheet.

  • Ctrl-a: Move to the start of the current line.
  • Ctrl-e: Move to the end of the line.
  • Ctrl-f: Move forward a character.
  • Ctrl-b: Move back a character.
  • Meta-f: Move forward to the end of the next word. Words are composed of letters and digits.
  • Meta-b: Move backward to the start of the next word. Words are composed of letters and digits.

Have fun.

Plugin Manager removed from Notepad++

I needed the compare plugin today. You used to be able to select the Plugin Manager under Plugins -> Plugin Manager. But it was gone 😦 It turns out it has been removed from the standard installation and has to be installed separately. I haven’t been able to find out why. Here quick instructions how to install Plugin Manager.

  • Download the latest version of Plugin Manger from GitHub. Make sure you download the correct version 32 or 64 bit depending on the version of your operating system.
  • Unzip the file.
  • Copy the two directories to the Notepad++ directory. In my case C:\Program Files (x86)\Notepad++.
  • Restart Notepad++.

Plugin Manager is available again under Plugins -> Plugin Manager. Yeah!

Finding out which files are open and by which programs

Grrrrrrr ran into my inotify problem again. So I was wondering how I can see which program has files opened and how many. Well as with everything under Linux it is possible with a few “simple” commands. Try the following command for fun and entertainment.

$ lsof | awk ‘{print $1}’ | sort | uniq -c | sort -g -k 1 | tail

  • lsof: lists the open files
  • awk: takes the first column of the output
  • sort: yep it sorts the output
  • uniq: counts all the same value
  • sort: do you want me to repeat it? a little clarification is necessary -k tells which column to sort on and -g makes sure that the contents is treated like a number
  • tail: gives the last ten entries

Inotify limit reached under PT Magic

Today I ran into a problem with PT Magic (PTM) that the inotify limit was reached on Ubuntu. Inotify (inode notify) is a Linux kernel subsystem that acts to extend filesystems to notice changes to the filesystem, and report those changes to applications. Just as a future reference for myself and as a reference to others a very quick write up how to solve this.

You can get your current inotify file watch limit by executing:

$ cat /proc/sys/fs/inotify/max_user_watches

You can set a temporary new limit with:

$ sudo sysctl -w fs.inotify.max_user_watches=16384

If you like to make your limit permanent use:

$ echo fs.inotify.max_user_watches=16384 | sudo tee -a /etc/sysctl.conf
$ sudo sysctl -p

That’s it. The problem should be solved. At least this is the workaround. I have submitted an issue to TP Magic so that they can fix it properly. We will see.

Validating a json file from the command line in Linux

Today I needed to validate a json file on one of my servers. It turns out there is a simple nodejs program or actually a linter to do this with.

Just execute the following line and you are in business.

sudo npm install jsonlint -g

This assumes nodejs is already installed. If not, execute the following line.
sudo apt-get install -y nodejs npm

To validate a json file run the following command.

jsonlint -qc settings.analyzer.json

When running the program the first time I ran into the problem that the json file contains comments. Yes, I know this is not in line with the spec, but it is damn handy for understanding the file. So I needed to strip the comments to valiate the file. After googeling around a bit I found an awk command to do just this. Try the following command.

awk '{sub(/\/.*$/,"")}1' settings.analyzer.json > settings.analyzer.json

Now run jsonlint again and it should work.

P.s. I know the title of this post says Linux, but jsonlint will also work under any other system that nodejs runs on.

Hope this saves someone some time.